Photo Books: where to order, what to charge?

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by mvw photo, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Hey all,
    I am adding photo books to my repertoire. Customers love them. So I have two questions:
    1. Where do I get the most cost-effective books? 8.5 x 11, 20 pages, that sort of thing. The kind of thing I now get from Apple (I just make them in iphoto after I export the pics from Lightroom - bit laborious but oh wwell). But Apple is quite expensive - my customers are cost conscious. Are there more cost-effective options?
    2. What is the easier service to use, given that I do my work in LightRoom? In another answer, someone mentioned Blurb, but they do not have a plugin yet, apparently. Any other options?
    As always, I thank everyone here for reading and responding
    Michael
     
  2. a Canadian option for photobooks is through www.pikto.ca - download software with templates or custom design options...and online ordering is available.
    :)
     
  3. Thanks... both the last options, however, appear to cost much more than Apple's US$35 for a 20-page 8.5x11" hardcover book. Pikto like US$40 and mpix even more I think. To me, $20 seems a natural price at which I will make some money.. no-one does it for less than Apple, then?
     
  4. Also Winkflash and Lulu. I haven't delved into it enough yet, but it seems quality is an issue for most photographers. I don't want to do a book if it's going to make my shots look bad.
     
  5. Michael, I just got my January / February 2009 issue of American Photo today, and it has a spread on various book makers, costs, and quality. Get it if you can. It's very helpful. I subscribe, so it may not be on newstands quite yet.
     
  6. I just ordered a book that fit your exact description, from Shutterfly.com. It's shipped and on its way to me (hoping it comes today). They always have specials going, it seems. My client actually wanted two copies, which I ordered. My cost including shipping for the 2 books was about $63. Get on their emailing list and you'll be advised of all the sales! They have an assortment of "OK" templates, but you can also create you own pages with your software and drop in entire pages of your own making (my personal preference)
    ...Now if the quality's acceptable, I'll be very happy and will be ordering more books from them in the future. I'm thinking positive and have the next one in the works, so I hope I'm not disappointed.
     
  7. mpix.com
    blurb.com
     
  8. Michael,
    I currently use Apple books designed in Aperture. Not sure if they are any different than ones designed in iPhoto, but for the cost, quality and software capabilities I have been hard-pressed to find anything better. And I have looked around. Every time I think I might have found a better product, I download the software and it is cumbersome or buggy. The price is not bad, if you ask me, of $35.
    What I would like to find is a similar service where I could upload PDFs that I design in InDesign or Quark. Anyone know if such a service?
     
  9. MyPublisher also has lots of specials and deals. As I recall, they were the original service for iPhoto books...and used to be a plug-in from iPhoto (but no longer available since they now compete for this service).
    Since I usually print one for myself and one for client or person giving to, I particularly like their 2:1 deals.
    Quality is very good.
    What kind of markup do others typically charge for creating photobooks -- I am still determining the sweet spot b/w actual cost and what people are willing to pay and would be interested in some thoughts...obviously will vary depending on amount of work involved, but just trying to get some context.
     
  10. The US dollar's rise against the Canadian $ has made the Apple hardcover photo book prohibitively expensive. Personally, I don't mind paying $55 for a 20-page book, but once I add margin to reflect all the work, that becomes prohibitive. I do hope someone makes bnooks for $20 soon, because top me that would do the trick and make it viable...
     
  11. I have some friends(non-photographers) that made photo books for their familys at snapfish.com. They only paid ~$20 or ~$25 for a 20 page leather cover book. You should check it out... again they made their own just by uploading their photos and copy and paste into the spots.
     
  12. I have seen great results from Aperture. I do think they differ from the books generated in iPhoto.
     
  13. I've printed a few copies of a recent portfolio book with Blurb and then tried Pikto, who offered a few more paper choices. The Blurb printing was excellent and was very pleased overall.
    The Pikto book was poorly packaged and was damaged in shipping. There were also some streaky pages. When I complained, they refused to offer a refund. I filed a complaint with my credit card company, and because Pikto would not take responsibility, I am stuck with paying the charges.
     

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